Once an unhappy young man came to an old master and told he had a very sad life and asked for a solution. The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. “How does it taste?” – the Master asked.
“Terrible.” – spat the apprentice. The Master chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the apprentice swirled his handful of salt into the lake. The old man said, “Now drink from the lake.” As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the Master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Good!” – remarked the apprentice. “Do you taste the salt?” – asked the Master. “No.” – said the young man. The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the ‘pain’ depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”
Question: What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
Answer By Jonathan Pettit
I was about ten. My mom had just finished creating one of her amazing meals, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Delicious. Later, as I was washing the dishes, my mom came up to me. “Sorry, dinner was so awful again,” she said.
I was shocked. “What? No, it was great. I loved it.”
“Really?” she said, with mock surprise. “You always eat so quietly, never saying anything. You’ve never told me you liked my cooking, so I thought you hated it.”
“No, you’re the best cook I know.”
“Then you should tell me that,” she said. “Whenever someone does something nice for you, you should thank that person. If you don’t, then she might think she’s not appreciated and stop doing those nice things.”
Something clicked right then. From that day onward, I thanked everyone for literally everything. If anyone did something that even vaguely helped me, I thanked that person profusely. It became a habit, something I didn’t even think about, and that’s when the magic started happening.
People liked me more. They talked to me more, shared with me, were more friendly. In my first year of high school, during the final week, I came home and found a giant freezie (a kind of sweet frozen snack) waiting for me. “Thanks, mom!” I said instinctively.
“This isn’t from me, she said. “This is from your bus driver.” He had been driving that bus for years, and my siblings and I were the first people to ever thank him as we got dropped off. Those two simple words made a huge difference, so much so that he went out of his way to tell our mom and give us a present.
That’s the power of appreciation. When you have it, all is right in the world, but when it’s missing life is empty. My mom taught me many things, but taking two seconds to say ‘thank you’ every time, in any situation, was the best.
CRUX OF THE STORY
You would have met people who call themselves as good critics but have you ever met a person who says I am good at appreciating others? Isn’t that a sad part of our society?
Let’s start appreciating people more frequently especially people who are close to us.
Communication,appreciation and understanding are the building blocks of any successful relationship
And more the gratitude and appreciation we show, the more we get to be grateful and appreciative of.
Once, it so happened that Lord Krishna was standing in front of the mirror decorating himself. He was trying on different crowns on his head and putting on some fine jewelry while his charioteer waited outside with the chariot ready. His charioteer waited and waited and thought to himself – usually Krishna comes immediately, today he has still not come. So, out of curiosity he went inside to find out if the program was still on because Krishna was very unpredictable, anytime anything could change. So, the charioteer goes inside and he sees Lord Krishna standing in front of the mirror admiring himself.
He politely asked, “My dear Lord, tell me, why are you dressing up so much today. Where are we going?”
Lord Krishna said, “I am going to meet Duryodhana.”
The charioteer said, “You are dressing up so much to meet Duryodhana?”
Lord Krishna then said, “He cannot see my inside, he can only appreciate my outside. So how I am dressed will impress him because he cannot see my inside.”
Then the charioteer said, “You are going to Duryodhana? You should not go, he should come to you. This I cannot accept.”
Many times, the drivers and assistants give you more advise than needed. He continued to say, “This is not fair. Look at your status and look at him! You are the Lord of the world. You should not go, let him come.”
Krishna turned back, looked at him, smiled and said, “Darkness does not come to light, light has to go to darkness.”
These few words silenced the charioteer.
Please read this carefully and get your son or daughter to read it too.
This post is about what happened in a typical middle-class household.
The son didn’t like living in his father’s house. This was because of his father’s constant ‘nagging’;
“You are leaving the room without switching off the fan”
“The TV is on in the room where there is no one. Switch it off!”
“Keep the pen in the stand; it is fallen down”
The son didn’t like his father nagging him for these minor things.
He had to tolerate these things till yesterday since he was with them in the same house.
But today, however, he had an invitation for a job interview.
“As soon as I get the job, I should leave this town. There won’t be any nagging from my father” were his thoughts.
As he was about to leave for the interview, the father advised:
“Answer the questions put to you without any hesitation. Even if you don’t know the answer, mention that confidently.” His gave him more money than he actually needed to attend the interview.
The son arrived at the interview centre.
He noticed that there were no security guards at the gate. Even though the door was open, the latch was protruding out probably hitting the people entering through the door. He put the latch back properly, closed the door and entered the office.
On both sides of the pathway he could see beautiful flower plants. The gardener had kept the water running in the hose-pipe and was not to be seen anywhere. The water was overflowing on the pathway. He lifted the hosepipe and placed it near one of the plants and went further.
There was no one in the reception area. However, there was a notice saying that the interview was on the first floor. He slowly climbed the stairs.
The light that was switched on last night was still burning at 10 am in the morning. He remembered his father’s admonition, “Why are you leaving the room without switching off the light?” and thought he could still hear that now. Even though he felt irritated by that thought, he sought the switch and switched off the light.
Upstairs in a large hall he could see many aspirants sitting waiting for their turn. He looked at the number of people and wondered if he had any chance of getting the job.
He entered the hall with some trepidation and stepped on the “Welcome” mat placed near the door. He noticed that the mat was upside down. He straightened out the mat with some irritation. Habits die hard.
He saw that in a few rows in the front there were many people waiting for their turn, whereas the back rows were empty, but a number of fans were running over those rows of seats.
He heard his father’s voice again, “Why are the fans running in the room where there is no one?” He switched off the fans that were not needed and sat at one of the empty chairs.
He could see many men entering the interview room and immediately leave from another door. There was thus no way anyone could guess what was being asked in the interview.
When it was his turn, He went and stood before the interviewer with some trepidation and concern.
The officer took the certificates from him and without looking at them asked, “When can you start work?”
He thought ,”is this a trick question being asked in the interview, or is this a signal that I have been offered the job?” He was confused.
“What are you thinking?” asked the boss. “We didn’t ask anyone any question here. By asking a few questions we won’t be able to assess the skills of anyone. So our test was to assess the attitude of the person. We kept certain tests based on the behaviour of the candidates and we observed everyone through CCTV. No one who came today did anything to set right the latch at the door, the hose pipe, the welcome mat, the uselessly running fans or lights. You were the only one who did that. That’s why we have decided to select you for the job”, said the boss.
He always used to get irritated at his father’s discipline and demonstrations. Now he realized that it is only the discipline that has got him his job. His irritation and anger at his father vanished completely.
He decided that he would bring his father too to his workplace and left for home happily.
Whatever our father tells us is only for our good aimed at giving us a bright future!
A rock doesn’t become a beautiful sculpture if it resists the pain of the chisel chipping it away.
For us to become a beautiful sculpture and a human being we need to accept admonitions that chisel out the bad habits and behaviour from ourselves. That is what our father does when he disciplines us.
The mother lifts the child up on her waist to feed her, to cuddle her, and to put her to sleep. But the father is not like that. He lifts the child up on his shoulders to make him see the world that he couldn’t see.
We can realize the pain the mother undergoes by listening to her; but the father’s pain can be realized only when others tell us about it.
Our father is our teacher when we are five years old; a terrible villain when we are about twenty, and a guidepost as long as he lives…
Mothers can go to her daughter’s or son’s home when she’s old; but the father doesn’t know how to do that…
There is no use in hurting our parents when they are alive and remembering about them when they have passed away. Treat them well always.
This is an example of mentorship.
*PLEASE! Share with parents & children.
This is about the deceptive nature of comfort. We are all searching for happiness and we often seek it through forms of comfort. Off course for each of us comfort looks different. For some it is found in food, alcohol or intimacy, for others it is found in work, shopping or entertainment and when we reach for these remedies there is often instant relief but pleasure is fleeting and the lure of comfort can deceive us.
Consider the way Moths tend to fly towards a flame. To the moth the flame represents the captivating sensation of light so they fly to the flickering glow. But this is clearly not a good choice. The moth seeks comfort but the flame actually causes suffering. And this is what we do. We are pulled towards what appears comforting but it is in fact harmful. We go an a alcohol binge and it feels enjoyable at first but the next day we pay the price. When we are angry at someone we begin to yell at them. This too might feel good momentarily but it creates a wider rift and deeper hurt.
So it is up to us to use the skills of mindfulness and pay attention to how we respond to this comfort or agitation. We must ask ourselves what do we reach for as comfort and then notice, does our habit actually brings us comfort? And if so, for how long? Does that comfort comes at a price of long term suffering?
As Jeff Olson said “your habits operate at the unconscious level. You are not normally aware of them. It’s only by bringing habit into your conscious awareness that you can observe what it is doing. How it empowers and serves you or doesn’t”.
Ultimately we want to bring awareness to the impulses and urges that accompany unease and discomfort. so rather than unconsciously reaching for that old comfort or vice, we can consciously choose actions that serve our deeper happiness and well being.